Sarah Repking, NP – Rush University Medical Center

I’m a nurse practitioner in the hepatology
clinic — the liver clinic — and we see chronic liver disease — pre- and post transplant. Typically the physician will see the patient
when they first come in as a new patient, and then for all subsequent care, they’ll
either see the physician or see myself —especially for people who are going through hepatitis
C treatment, we’ll guide them through that, walk them through that, be there for follow-up
appointments every month, phone calls, blood tests. We have a little bit more time to spend with
them and have a little bit more time to make phone calls and callbacks and help them through
any of the concerns or questions they may have during the treatment phase. Specifically with hepatitis C, the treatment
used to be very long, very difficult, with a 50 percent cure rate. Now it’s short, easy to deal with — as
far as the side effects go — and you’re talking about cure rates in the high 90s. We’re able to treat people who are a little
bit sicker, whereas the old treatment we couldn’t do that. And there’s now a ton of oral medications
available, which — when I first started there was one, the second was coming on, now
there’s ten. So it’s not like we’re stuck with just
one type of treatment. If one doesn’t work for whatever reason
— if you fall into that very small category that it didn’t work, which is about a three
percent chance —there’s other treatments available that still have 97, 98 percent chance
of complete cure. It’s really, really great to see that transition
in medicine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *